Almost everyone has a physical or mental handicap. Most handicaps are minor and do not prevent a person from getting along in the world. Those readers who wear glasses have such minor handicaps. These people are fortunate that their handicap is correctable. But they also are aware that, without their glasses, they can experience significant problems.
Other readers may have more severe disabilities or may have a relative or friend who has one. Perhaps they are sitting in a wheelchair, are wearing a hearing aid, or have had a long course of psychotherapy. Perhaps they have a brother who is mentally retarded or a sister who is said to have a significant learning disability. Maybe they know a child who has been abused by adults or who abuses others. About 15% of school children have a disability severe enough to require special help over an extended period of time. Not all of them need help throughout their childhood, and many -- perhaps most -- ultimately become reasonably happy adults who contribute significantly to society.
Children with handicaps and their families often experience great unhappiness, much of which is preventable. Modern industrialized nations also spend significant amounts of money providing services for handicapped children. Reducing unhappiness of families of children with handicaps, helping them to be more effective, and providing services in a cost-effective manner are all achievable and obviously desirable goals.
Although this book is about children with handicapping conditions, it is